The vote of Quebecers dissected

Quebecers' vote dissected

UPDATE DAY

On October 3, Quebecers returned François Legault to power at the head of a majority government, at the end of a historic election campaign contested by five parties. A Léger-Le Journal poll conducted in the days following the election sheds light on what influenced voters in their choice, when citizens made their decision and the population's main expectations with regard to the Coalition Avenir Quebec.  

 

The CAQ must deliver health and lower taxes

Quebecers expect François Legault to deliver the goods in good health and lower taxpayers' taxes. Access to a health professional in less than 36 hours is an essential CAQ promise in the eyes of voters, like that of limiting waiting times in the emergency room. But citizens are also hurting their wallets and want to breathe a little while inflation is raging. Reducing the first two tax brackets by one percentage point is crucial for many voters, especially the CAQs and the Conservatives. Supporters of François Legault also expect to receive the promised check of between $400 and $600 by the end of 2022 to counter the rising cost of living.

< h3>Polls have little influence on voters

During an election campaign, opinion polls abound. Nevertheless, only 5% of citizens consider that they had an impact on their vote. “Overall, voters know who they are going to vote for before the campaign, so you may have all kinds of polls, it has little influence, much less in any case than we think”, underlines Jean-Marc Léger. The president of the Léger firm agrees that soundings can sometimes “accelerate trends”, as was the case in 2011, when a wave of New Democrats led by Jack Layton swept through Quebec in the federal election. The important thing is the accuracy of the portrait of public opinion. The latest Léger poll published in the pages of the Journalthe day before D-Day predicted a majority CAQ government with 38% of the vote. François Legault's CAQ finally obtained just under 41% support. “We were the most precise, in all respects, we were within the margin of error. At five political parties, we were in it, ”insists the pollster.

The issue of immigration did not influence the vote

The many missteps and sensational statements by François Legault on the subject of immigration have not moved the needle. Although it was talked about cheerfully during the election campaign, it is not a theme that had a significant impact on the outcome of the elections. A starving 2% of voters believe that this is the issue that has influenced their vote the most. Even among liberal voters, the subject was not decisive. What has been most important for the supporters of Dominique Anglade is what affects language and culture. Law 96, the Caquiste reform of the Charter of the French language, and Law 21, prohibiting religious symbols for certain state agents, have mobilized non-French speakers, reports Jean-Marc Léger. 

A record of citizens made their choice in the voting booth

The electoral marathon in which political parties engage for 36 days does not have the same impact for all citizens. As is customary, no less than 45% of Quebecers had already made their choice even before the start of the campaign. But what is unique about the October 3, 2022 ballot is the proportion of voters who waited until D-Day to make a decision. In fact, 8% of people made their final choice once in the voting booth. Not to mention the many people who decided in the last days of the campaign. A rising trend that political parties should not take lightly. “It's an election that isn't tight, so it had little impact, but in a tight election, it's fundamental,” notes pollster Jean-Marc Léger. 

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Managing the pandemic made Legault win

Generally, citizens elect a government for the next four years. This time, Quebecers voted according to the past. “The CAQ won the election before the election. Why did she win? It is because of his management of the pandemic, ”notes Jean-Marc Léger. This is the issue that most influenced the vote of voters on October 3. This was the case for 35% of CAQ supporters, but also 40% of supporters of the Conservative Party of Éric Duhaime. What also pushes Quebecers into the arms of François Legault are the measures to deal with the cost of living and economic development. “He managed to vampirize all the usual liberal francophone federalist vote, an economic vote”, underlines the pollster. 

The PQ garnered support after the debates

The majority of PQ voters made their choice after the leaders' debates. Paul St-Pierre Plamondon's performance in televised oratorical contests will have allowed the Parti Québécois to avoid disappearance. The last stage of the campaign was crucial for the separatist political formation, which garnered 21% of its support in the last three days of the electoral marathon. Quebecers are of the opinion that the PQ leader definitely led the best election campaign, far ahead of his opponents. Only 10% of citizens consider that the CAQ provided a good service during these 36 days. “There is dissatisfaction with François Legault's campaign,” notes Jean-Marc Léger. 

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